Paradox of plenty

Australia's mining boom and its impact on Aboriginal communities will be the focus of a free public forum tonight at UNSW.

ILC mining cropped
  • Public forum hosted by UNSW’s Indigenous Law Centre, Thursday 4 April

In Australia over 20% of the land mass is held by Aboriginal people in a variety of statutory land tenure systems including native title. Therefore it’s no surprise that over 60% of mining projects in Australia are in close proximity to Aboriginal communities.

What are the implications of the current mining boom for these communities? Is the boom creating a ‘paradox of plenty’ or ‘resource curse’, with the wealth flowing elsewhere and Aboriginal people left to pick up the costs? Or does the boom represent a once in a generation opportunity to help overcome Aboriginal and social disadvantage?

This public forum will discuss some of the beneficial impacts of the mining boom including indigenous agreement-making, economic development and capacity building, indigenous employment and improved infrastructure, as well as the adverse effects on cultural and community wellbeing and on Aboriginal peoples’ access to affordable housing and health services.


  • Professor Marcia Langton, Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne.
  • Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh, Griffith Business School and Director of Centre for Governance and Public Policy's Program on Politics, Resources and Sustainability.
  • Professor Megan Davis, Director of Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW and UN expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples.

What: Australia’s mining boom: the impact on Aboriginal communities – free public forum.

When: Thursday 4 April, 6.30 – 8pm

Where: Go4 Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Law


Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 1583 or 0424 580 208